Calgary has been nothing short of sleepy. The intention was always to land here and close up logistics.
I’ve been spending quality time with my brother and mom. A slew of food excursions and mall outings piled on the calendar, among the pleasantries of daytime TV viewing. Who knew Oprah could be so enthralling again? Not I.
To sum up, there are more gear items to purchase, bank accounts to be amended and website maintenance – it’s never ending. Would I return to the cubicle? A resounding “NO”.
As for the culture here? Alberta is officially cattle country, so a pescetarian, bohemian profile like me skirts its natural laws.
I’m positive Calgary has more SUVs, trucks and ball caps per capita than it does recycle bins. There’s not much of a walking mentality here. My slow gait garners attention on the streets. Yeah, I’m the rock star of walking.
Given my brother’s SUV (yes, shameful), I tool around in it – stopping at my high school or the house of my formative years. My childhood home underwent a drastic makeover. New roof shingles, dark green siding. I didn’t recognize it! I was sure the teenager watering the sculptured landscaping wondered who that creepy woman in the SUV was. Watching, remembering. Call the cops.
Perhaps I outgrew this town, but Calgary is a perfect city to raise kids, grab open, wide spaces and earn a comfortable wage. What I crave is adventure. To learn a new set of rules, ones that don’t involve mortgage rates or car maintenance.
So no, Calgary has far from challenged my travel survival skills, just the emotional ones.
There was a tiff or two with the brother, all in an effort to know him as an adult. A tear or five shed while visiting my mother in her nursing home.
The big news is a potential meet up with my ex is sooo off. Yeah, yeah you all told me so. Revisiting the past can’t be good.
I had goals. See, I’ve undergone such an evolution that it was time to readdress unfinished business. Maybe I just needed to know I made the right decision breaking up an 11 year relationship. Maybe I hoped he changed as much as I had.
I charged ahead and booked a Greyhound ticket to Moosejaw, Sasketchewan. Where is that exactly? Directly south off Trans-Canada Highway #1, affectionately referred to as “flat” country.
Anyone who is from the grain belt of Canada or the US can relate, Sasketchewan has a lot of crops, not a lot of choices. In keeping with sleepy, I spent a few summers there moving through slow liquid. It’s that kinda place.
I gave it one day in Moosejaw to catch up with him, then out that night on another bus to big city – Toronto.
Whoah, did that blow up in my face. Although positive emails were exchanged, I sensed too late that unresolved feelings existed. For him, not so much for me. It was time to close shop. Funny how closure can take place without ever having to see the person face-to-face.
It was crap time! Stuck with a ticket to Moosejaw (should have bought a refundable ticket – duh!) what the hell would I do for 8 hours? Thankfully, Moosejaw discovered geo-thermal healing waters from a deep well originally drilled for natural gas. A geo-thermal wall and pipeline was raised in 1980, a full scale spa constructed around that.
Folks, I’m going to spend July 2nd at the Temple Gardens and Mineral Spa. It’s $15 CDN for an all day pass, it’s half a block from the Greyhound station, and free wifi – poolside.
And that’s traveling. Rolling with the punches.
What else I’m discovering is sometimes one must navigate internal travel. Emotional hurdles or pshychological truths. That’s me. Coming to peace with things that happened in childhood, or what didn’t – saying hello to old mates, even if they aren’t physically present. It’s all good.
I’ve added a little Google/Flickr map on the sidebar to inform y’all where I am, where I’m off to next. Check it often.
As I round up Calgary, Toronto won’t be wrought with so many emotional landmines. It’s gonna be all fun. The entire month of July!
Watch for some grand experiments in Canadian couchsurfing, hosteling and hopefully I can piece together a raucous Toronto meet-up. If you’re a Toronto travel blogger, email me and join the party. Let’s do up July in humidity and smog right!
Finally, I’m dying of curiosity – is travel internal or external for you? Or both? And why?